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Cost Factors for an RF Data Collection System

Site survey costs vary due to a number of circumstances and system requirements. Among these are: user count, facility size, bandwidth, speed, inventory contents, building construction, EMI presence, and other factors. On one hand, for example, a fairly open 40,000 ft2 warehouse full of lumber with only 10 RF users may take less than a day to survey and write a report. On the other hand, a 200,000 ft2 warehouse with low ceilings, walk-in sub-zero freezers, 50 users and 12 loading docks may take three days to survey and generate a report. As you can see, there are many factors to take into account to properly quote a price and perform a site survey for your facility.

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How much coverage can I expect from one RF access point?

There is not one standard area that an access point will cover. It all depends on the environment of your facility. In an ideal area with no objects to obstruct the RF signal, the coverage could extend to 20,000 square feet. On the other hand, a dense environment could only extend 5,000 square feet. Microwaves, mobile phones, external RF signals and Bluetooth wireless devices are all things that can affect your RF signal. In other words, the signal from each access point will be different from location to location. Other factors that are also considered are the number of concurrent users anticipated and desired data rates. Ryzex can perform an RF site survey to identify potential problems and maximize coverage.

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I’m not sure whether or not I need someone to configure my new barcode hardware. How do I know?

A good way of deciding whether or not to have someone else stage and configure your new barcode hardware is asking yourself a few questions:
  • Do you want all of the devices to have the same software installed?
  • What are the skill levels of the end users? Is your IT department already slammed with other projects?
  • Will you be ordering all devices at one time or sporadically?
  • Do you want to use your devices as soon as they arrive at your facility?
  • How many sites do you have?
  • How many devices?
If you have multiple sites with a large (100+) amount of devices spread across each of them, choosing someone to do the staging and configuration for you will save you valuable time and stress. If you were to take on this process internally, it could take hours a day to get the system up and running. How does opening the box, taking your device out and it working right away sound?

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What are the advantages of RF vs. other data collection methods?

The main advantage of an RF system is the real-time aspect. Information is on demand and in the users hand at all times. For example, the user can receive direction from a warehouse management system that informs what product to pull next, if a wrong item was scanned or suggest replacements if inventory is out. This will greatly reduce human error and solve problems instantly rather then finding out something is wrong down the road.

One common example of the use of RF real-time technology is in warehouse and distribution center systems. Real-time interaction with your WMS system will allow the system to make users most efficient by directing their picking process, suggesting alternative products (and location) at the spur of the moment, interleaving cycle counts with order picking, or even put-away with picking. With a RF network leveraging your investment, you can realize real-time labor savings and instant system updates to maintain inventory levels more accurately. Real-time interaction with your IT systems is the most logical choice for making your business more responsive and efficient.

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Why do I need a wireless site survey?

A wireless site survey is your assurance that you will have adequate coverage, bandwidth and stability in your RF system to support the user’s needs. Since we cannot “see” radio waves, we rely on our tools and methodologies to assure that your RF system will avoid interference from other sources of EMI (electro-magnetic interference) and be able to propagate most efficiently within your facility. A properly executed RF site survey will allow Ryzex to design a RF network that will meet your coverage, bandwidth and user count requirements.